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tv   Americas Newsroom  FOX News  December 22, 2010 9:00am-11:00am EST

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>> brian: we're talking about great, this girl scout chorus is from my favorite island, long island. >> gretchen: similar to the values, i want to send a special shout out to somebody that i learned my values from and that was my mom. it's her 70th birthday today. happy birthday and thank you for always telling me i could be whatever i wanted to be. happy birthday. >> brian: happy birthday, mrs. carlson. and make it a great day. >> steve: the girls will be on the after the show show, if you would like to watch, go right now. see you tomorrow. today, covering meand women who became sick working in
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and around ground zero after the attacks of 9/11, people that came from all over the country to help in manhattan. goodgood morning, i'm bill hemmer. martha, nice to see you. martha: good morning, bill, good morning, everyone. supporters of this bill hoping for a miracle today, democrats pushing for republican support. congress phil hare says a yes vote on this bill is a, quote, no brainer. >> this is the lives of a lot of people who went into those towers to save people and had become ill, and you know, i love the holidays, it's my favorite -- christmas is my favorite holiday of the year, but this is much more important. martha: it has been a very emotional week for the first responders who took their personal case toss capitol hill. listen to this: >> we had -- who has been at 44 funerals in the last four years. raise your hand, anybody.
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me. who is there, those who donated to families of loved ones lost, raise your hand. me. if i can do this, why can't the senate help these men and women? >> we've gone and put food inry fraij raters of 9/11 heroes who can no longer afford to feed their families because their medical expenses are so high. bill: steve centanni leads our coverage on the hill. will this vote on the senate side happen today steve? >> reporter: bill it's possible but first there would have to be an agreement to move forward and a handful of staunch components -- opponents, most notely jon kyl of oz and -- of arizona and tom coburn of oklahoma. this could reduce the price tag even further but no deal yet. terts, supporters of the bill would like the president to put his full weight behind this effort. >> our democratic leadership in the house and senate are weighing in strongly as are
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senators, but the president has the bully pulpit. we're in the ninth inning and we need a closure to push this thing through. >> reporter: white house press secretary robert gibbs saying republicans should talk to each other about this, since all the democrats support it, but in any case one source on capitol hill saying it's possible a deal could be worked out today bill. bill: what are the objections of some of these republican lawmakers to the proposal they're seeing right now on the table? row >> reporter: they think it's too costly and are worried the money won't be used effectively, although they don't argue they should get health care and exeng, they agree with that. one concern is the current bill has not gone through the full committee process and even though it did get 22 hearings in the house. >> understand, this is not a bill that was considered by a committee of the congress and fixed so that when it came to the senate floor, the main issues were resolved. >> there was a hearing in
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the full senate, health and education committee last june, but kyl and coburn say that wasn't the full process. democrats respond many bills are not subjected to a lengthy committee process before their final passage. bill: we will see which way it goes today. steve centanni, thank you, leading our coverage. martha: as we await that bill a major victory could be coming for president obama's foreign policy agenda, a treaty with russia on the verge of being ratified, called start. it could become official as early as today. eleven republicans, a lot of movement on this last night, joined democrats in support of the start treaty. now, that would limit the number of nukes in both countries, opponents say that it is a danger to u.s. national security, thee don't like the preamble to this agreement. carl cameron will have for us -- live, more from capitol hill. record rain across the
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united states forcing some people out of their homes right before the holidays. check out this unbelievable video of a house getting washed away in arizona as the ground gave way underneath. nobody was living in the house fortunately i can tell you but the worst may be yet to come. southern california, used to dealing with crippling drought in recent years now having to cope with potential flooding. >> been through it with the february stuff, and we know when it's time to go, you know, if we need to go. >> when the deputies knock on your door, please, leave. i truly understand the significance of you leaving your home. i truly understand the significance of the season. but this is your lives that we're attempting to protect. martha: how do you do that. get everything out of there and pick up and leave? it's a tough situation. jamie colby is looking into it and has more for us. >> reporter: martha, good to see you, really tough, especially this time of year, california residents
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and emergency management responders say they are prepared for the worst yet today. landslides remaining a real risk after l.a. alone has seen 40 percent of its annual rainfall just this week. rainfall rates from the latest storm could be as much as 1 inch per hour while evacuations are ongoing in some areas, 230 homeowners were asked to leave their homes, in addition to the thousands that were asked earlier this week to get out amid fears of more flooding and landslides, also power outages. it's a continuing concern, as california governor schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency for six counties in l.a. area so far. as you can see, these pictures are stunning. there are other states affected, too, utah, nevada, arizona, some of them have seen their rivers overflowing, the banks, and washing away roads and bridges. more evacuations expected there. you mentioned those stunning pictures in arizona, as floodwaters washed away at
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least four homes. fortunately those were not lived in yet. saturated soil, causing them to collapse and be washed away, and there's also a bridge that was wiped out in southern utah. let's go overseas now, across the pond. europe, seeing its share of holiday travel oclowns -- slowdowns. there is good news, though. looking at heathrow, 70 percent of heathrow flights are expected to depart today. that's a significant improvement over the 30 percent they saw on tuesday after a second runway was reopened, but heathrow is not expected to be fully operational until thursday at the earliest. listen to this passenger who explains what the experience has been like for holiday travelers: >> treacherous. yeah, people sleeping on the floor, people drunk, you had people shouting, screaming, people getting into fights. >> reporter: it's not just the airports, it's the rails, too, they're affected, expected cancellations and delays
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there. and of course, other things get affected, too. in the u.k., we're hearing martha, and we're wondering if this will happen here, mail delivery this christmas season, slowed down, especially in those homes. you might be able to stay but you may not get your presents or cards headed your way. we'll follow all the extreme weather for you all day long. keep it right here on fox. martha: this is a big story across our country and in europe as well. jamie, thank you very much. >> sure. bill: got some breaking news in the windy city and today the windy city is downright cold. this is a fire at a vacant commercial building, where according to reports, at least two firefighters are trapped inside. you can see a number of firefighters there on your screen, just to the left of that chimney. we don't know about the condition or how this broke out or how they're able to bring it under control but we do know about the weather. it's 23 degrees in chicago this morning, with a wind chill, it feels like 12.
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we'll that story, breaking news out of chicago, wfld with a live picture there. the commerce department releasing new economic data only moments ago, adjusting its gdp, gross domestic product number for the third quarter, turns out our economy grew a bit more than we earlier thought, just a bit, 2.6%. that's a green arrow. i like that. does stu varney from the fox business network? varney & company. good news? >> a little disappointing. those numbers are late summer, july-september, that was live the election results kicked in and live that tax deal kicked in. we've got 2.6% anallized growth rate, but that's still growth and the trend for the economy is still an expansion. let me throw a couple of indicators at you to back up the rosy forecast. on one, saturday, retail sales went up 15 percent in the nation's stores on that one day, according to shopper track, that's a big jump from the year before.
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the stock market is at two-year highs, that's an indicator. investors are expecting solid growth next year. so that forecast of 3 1/2%, solid growth, 2011, that stands. bill: retail sales are decent, though, right? >> 15 percent jump, on that all-important saturday before christmas. we'll take it. bill: that's year over year, right? last year, we were in such a hole. >> yes, that's true. 15 percent is a very nice gain. bill: we'll take it. >> we will. bill: hey, merry christmas stuart! i like that. martha: it's like a christmas carol! all right. let's go to the white house where president obama is set to sign the don't ask don't tell repeal act officially ending the military ban on gays and lesbians openly serving in the military. this is a big moment for all opponents of this act. there's vice president joe biden in the room, nancy pelosi, admiral mike mullen is there as well, senator hay reid.
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we remember hearing admiral mike mullen released by the families of the military, a large scale survey that was done that said they don't believe that repealing this would have any significant effect on the efficiency of our military in action in afghanistan and iraq and elsewhere. we're going to come back when president obama steps to the pod ul and begins that sign that. also marine staff sergeant eric alba, wounded in the iraq war, he's a huge proponent of that appeal. we'll watch when that happens. in tough economic times are americans moving to states that have lower taxes? wait until you see the impact of this on the census numbers. watch where people are moving away from folks and it will give you insight into the budgets in those states as well, the changing political landscape in this country. bill: lindh sea graham, claiming democrats ate republicans for lunch after the lame duck session. we'll have former white
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house secretary dana perino to report on this. >> when it's all said and done, harry reid has eaten our lunch. this has been a capitulation in two weeks of dramatic proportions of polices that wouldn't have passed in the new congress. >> ♪ >> ♪ happy holidays. >> ♪ >> ♪ >> ♪ christ our savior is born. >> ♪ >> ♪ christ the savior is born. >> ♪ >> ♪ martha: to the
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department of the interior where president obama has walked into the room, the signing of don't ask don't tell, the repeal of that act is underway. let's listen to the president. >> this is a good day! everybody -- >> [inaudible comments] >> thank you, thank you, thank you! [inaudible comments] >> [laughter] >> i am just overwhelmed.
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this is a very good day. and i want to thank -- >> [applause] >> all of you. especially the people on this stage. but each and every one of you who have been working so hard on this. members of my staff, who worked so hard on this. i couldn't be prouder. you know, 66 years ago, in the dense snow covered forest of western europe, although i'd -- allied forces were beating back a massive assault in what would become known as the battle of the bulge, and in the final days of fighting, a regiment in the 80th division of patton's third army came under fire. the men were traveling along a narrow trail.
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they were exposed and they were vulnerable. hundreds of soldiers were cut down by the enemy. and during the firefight, a private named lori corwin tumbled 40 feet down the deep side of a ravine. and days, entrapped, he was as good as dead. but one soldier, a friend, turned back and with shells landing around him amid smoke and chaos and the screams of wounded men, this soldier, this friend, scaled down the icy slope, risking his own life to bring private corwin to safer ground. and for the rest of his years, lloyd credited this soldier, this friend, named
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andy lee, with saving his life, knowing he would never have made it out alone. it was a full four decades after the war when the two friends reunited in their golden years that lloyd learned that the man who saved his life, his friend andy, was gay. he had no idea. and he didn't much care. lloyd knew what mattered. he knew what had kept him live, what made it possible for him to come home and start a family and live the rest of his life. it was his friend. and lloyd's son is with us today. and he knew the valor and sacrifice are no more limited by sexual
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orientation than they are by race or by gender or by religion or by creed than what made it possible to survive the battlefield of europe is the reason that we are here today. [applause] >> that's the reason we are here today. so this morning, i am proud to sign a law that will bring an end to don't ask don't tell. and it is a long -- this law i'm about to sign will strengthen our national security and uphold the
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ideals that our fighting men and women risk their lives to defend. no longer will our country be denied the service of thousands of patriotic americans who are forced to leave the military, regardless of their skills, no matter their bravery or their zeal, no matters of their years of imlem plear performance because they happen to be gay. no longer will tens of thousands of americans in uniform be asked to live a lie or look over their shoulder in order to serve the country that they love. as admiral mike mullen has said, our people sacrifice a lot for their country, including their lives. none of them should have to sacrifice their integrity as well. [applause] that's why i
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believe it is the right thing to do for our military, that's why i believe it is the right thing to do, period. now, many fought long and hard to reach this day. i want to thank the democrats and republicans who put conviction ahead of politics to get this done together. [applause] >> i want to recognize nancy pelosi, steny hoyer, and
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harry reid. today we're mark an historic milestone but also the culmination of two of the most productive years in the history of congress, in no small part because of their leadership. so we are very grateful to them. [applause] i want to thank joe lieberman. [applause] and stephen collins.
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-- and susan collins. and i think carl levin is still working! but i want to add carl levin they held their shoulders to the wheel in the senate. i'm so proud of susan davis. [applause] >> who is on the stage. and a guy you might know, barney frank. [applause] >> they kept up the fight in the house. and i've got to acknowledge, patrick murphy, a veteran himself, who helped lead the way in congress.
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[applause] >> i also want to commend our military leadership. you know, ending don't ask don't tell was a topic in my first meeting with secretary gates, admiral mullen, and the joint chiefs. we talked about how to end this policy, we talked about how success in both passing and implementing this change
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depended upon working closely with the pentagon, and that's what we did. and two years later, i am confident that history will remember well the courage and the vision of secretary gates. [applause] >> of admiral mike mullen, who spoke from the heart and said what he believed was right. [applause] >> of general james cart
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wright, chairman of the joint chiefs and deputy secretary william lynn who is here, also the authors of the pentagon's review, jay johnson and general carter hand, who did outstanding and meticulous work. [applause] >> and all those who laid the ground work for this transition. and finally, i want to express my gratitude to the men and women in this room who have worn the uniform of the united states armed services. [applause] >> i want to thank all the
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patriots who are here today. all of them who were forced to hang up their uniforms as a result of don't ask don't tell, but who never stopped fighting for this country and who roll he'd and marched and fought for change. i want to thank everyone here who stood with them in that fight. because of these efforts, in the coming days, we will begin the process laid out by this law. now, the old policy remains in effect until admiral gates, admiral mullen and i implement the appeal and it's important for service members to remember that. i have spoken to every one of the service chiefs, and they are all committed to implementing this change swiftly and efficiently. we are not going to be dragging our feet to get this done. [applause]
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>> now, with any change, there is some apprehension. that's natural. but as commander in chief, i am certain that we can effect this transition in the way that only strengthens our military readiness. the people will look back on this moment and wonder why it was ever a source of controversy in the first place. i have every confidence in the professionalism and patriotism of our service members. they have adapted and grown stronger with each of the other changes, and i know they will do so again. i know that secretary gates, admiral mullen, as well as the vast majority of service members themselves share this view, and they share it based on their own
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experiences, including the experience of serving with dedicated duty-bound service members who are also gay. as one special operations war fighter said during the pentagon's review, this was one of my favorites, it echos the experience of lloyd corwin decades articler, we have a gay guy in the unit, he's big, he's mean, he kills lots of bad guys. [laughter] >> no one cared that he was gay. [laughter [gleen and i think that sums up perfectly the situation. [applause] >> finally i want to speak directly to the gay men and women currently serving in our military. for a long time, your service has demanded a particular kind of
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sacrifice. you've been asked to carry the added burden of secrecy, and isolation, and all the while, you've put your lives on the line for the freedoms and privileges of citizenship that are not fully granted to you. you're not the first to have carried this burden. while today marks the end of a particular struggle that has lasted almost two decades, this is a moment more than two centuries in the making. there will never be a full accounting of the heroism demonstrated by gay americans in service to this country, their service has been obscured in history, been lost to prejudices that have waned in our own lifetimes, but at every turn, every crossroads in our past, we know gay americans fought just as hard, gave just as much, to protect this nation and the ideals for which it stands.
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there can be little doubt there were gay soldiers who fought for american independence who consecrated the ground at gettysburg, who manned the trenches along the western front, who stormed the beaches of iwojima, their names are etched into the walls of our memorials, their headstones dot the grounds at arlington , and so as the first generation to serve openly in our armed forces, you will stand for all those who came before you, and you will serve as role models to all who come after. and i know that you will fulfill this responsibility with integrity and honor, just as you have every other mission with which you've been charged. and you need to look no further than the servicemen and women in this room,
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distinguished officers, like former navy commander zoe dunning. [applause] marines, like eric alva, one of the first to go to iraq. [applause] >> leaders like captain jonathan hopkins who led a platoon into northern iraq during the initial invasion, quelling an ethnic riot, earning a bronze star with valor. [applause] >> he was discharged, only to receive e-mails and
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letters from his soldiers saying they had known he was gay all along! [laughter] >> and thought he was the best commander they ever had [applause] >> now, there are a lot of stories like these, stories that only underscore the importance of enlisting the service of all who are willing to fight for this country. that's why i hope those soldiers, sailors, air men, marines, coast guardsmen who have been discharged under this discriminatory policy will seek to reenlist once the repeal is implemented. [applause] >> that is why i say to all americans, gay or straight, who want nothing more than to defend this country in
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uniform, your country needs you, wants you and we will be honored to welcome you into the finest ranks of the military the world has ever known. [applause] some of you remember i visited afghanistan just a few weeks ago. and while i was walking along the rope line, there was a big crowd, about 3000, a young woman in uniform was shaking my hand, and other people were grabbing and taking pictures, and she pulled me into a hug, and she whispered in my ear, get don't ask don't tell done. and i said to her i promise you i will. [applause] >> for we are not a nation that says don't ask don't
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tell. we are a nation that says out of many, we are one. we are a nation that welcomes the service of every patriot. we are a nation that believes that all men and women are created equal. those are the ideals that generations have fought for. those are the ideals that we uphold today and now it is my honor to sign this bill into law. [applause] >>
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>> [inaudible comments] >> >> [applause] >> march all right, this is disun. you heard it from president obama, don't ask don't tell, the repeal of that, allowing gay soldiers to be in the
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military openly serving, the president went on at great length, talking about the merits of that. this is one of the signing ceremonies we've seen recently and we'll talk about the president set and how the president is doing at the end of this year, coming up with governor rendell about how he thinks the presidency is going as the president tries to wrap up a number of victories as he heads into the christmas season. we will continue to watch that. you see other heads all around there. bill: as the limit talk session continues, the rush of activity is playing out in the democrats of favor. south carolina lindsey graham saying this to brian killey on the radio about senator majority harry reid and what has happened over the past six weeks. >> when it's all going to be said and done, harry reid has eaten our lunch. this has been a capitulation in two weeks of dramatic
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proportions of polices that wouldn't have passed in the new congress. bill: so is that the case? dana perino, former white house press secretary, fox news contributor, good morning, what do you think of what graham said? >> i think he has a point and unfortunately with the white house i think they've burned a bridge with lindsey graham. he is a stand-up guy, who would have reached out to work with them on immigration reform and guantanamo bay and now i think that he feels that that trust has been broken and he's frustrated. i do think that republicans can take heart on a couple of things, huge victory on getting the omnibus rejected, on the spending, mitch mcconnell, able to get nine republicans back into his camp to oppose that, which means that president obama's polices will not be funded at the request level for the next year and now republicans will have more of a say. so i think republicans can take heart there, getting the taxes extended, i think that was the best deal they
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could have made. i'm not convinced republicans could have won a communications game of chicken with the white house if everybody's taxes had gone up, i don't think everyone's taxes could have been extended at that point without further concessions that the president could have gotten. bill: on tax and spending you consider those republican victories but on the lind see graham comment, you say they'r marginalizing them at their own peril. >> yeah, sure. he is somebody that you could have worked with and reached across the aisle. he was willing to reach across the aisle and put his peptation on the line. take an example, immigration reform. when president obama and harry reid and nancy pelosi said they wanted to work on the dream act, an immigration measure, lindh see graham said i'll meet you there, i'll help and i'll push, then something happened in i think it was june of 2010 where he felt they weren't being truthful to him. they probably think they were but he's so frustrated he's walked away. it's hard to rebuild that trust and with diminished numbers in the senate, republican majority in the house, there's even less incentive and unlikely
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they'll get anything done with lend see graham. bill: these people have memories, too. one fifth of the people in the lame duck session are looking for a new job, leaving voluntarily or voted out of office. >> as you know it's not the greatest job market in the world now. bill: trent lott used to say he hated the lame duck sessions, the professor from ruckers says it's a combination of a wedding and a funeral. >> i think. lame is an apt description for it. i remember when i was secretary to president bush during the 2006 lame duck we passed an energy bill. so things can get done. everything builds up. but it shouldn't work this way. one of the reasons that harry reid suffered the defeat on the omnibus, he didn't do the type of work you would do in the normal course of a year, which is have the spending bills called up and voted on, he waited, then tried to jam it and he lost. that's a really big defeat for him. bill: thank you for being patient and sitting through the signing at the white house.
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this a great christmas! >> thank you very much. martha: we've got a lot coming up. they were the men and women who put themselves in harm's way after the horrific attacks of september 11th, and now they are suffering. so will there be another signing ceremony for the first responders' health care bill? >> prior to 9/11, in the history of the fire department, we had only lost one member to asophageal cancer, post 9/11, we've lost eight. world trade center-related? i ask you. martha: we will, congressman pete king on deck.
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martha: well, it is the most important head count for all americans, the 2010 census reshaping congress and we're just getting a real handle on this and it will really impact the way are you represented in the house. check out that number, more than 300 million people in the united states right now and here's how it's going to shape up. look at the math of how the congressional changes will
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-- map of how the congressional changes will take place, texas, the big winner with four seats added, four congressional seats. plays like massachusetts, new jersey, new york, pennsylvania, look at those states, all taking losses due to changes in their population. so this just up in a big way on capitol hill. i'm joined by allan cooms and karen hanratty, communications director for the republican national committee. welcome to you both. allan, the takeaway that is out there right now is that this is good for republicans, not good for democrats. >> according to whom? -- according to whom? >> according to anybody who looks at the numbers! >> the whole story is what happens to state legislate you are -- legislatures and the fact that they do the redistricting. they can edge people out and make it in a way that supports their agenda in the long term. that can affect things for years to come. martha: allan, in 2010
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president -- 2006 president obama lost to texas and most of the states are losing seats. when you add it all up, if he got every single electoral vote that he got in the last election he would lose six elocation torial votes. which could make it tricky for him. >> that's going to help him with the independents since he's gone to the center. one of the things that's often not talked b. there's a large and growing hispanic population and they're going into the mid states, places like arizona, and the way the republicans have been handling things like immigration retch, that's not too friendly to those who may tend to leave going forward. martha: karen, i want to get you in on this. that's the big question, that's the next question, because democrats will say yes, but minority population is rising, and that's definitely good for us. what do you think? >> i think this is one of those teachable moments that i'll be curious to see if president obama and the democrats actually take time to reflect upon, where it's
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immigration to different states from minorities or people who are simply looking for work, one of the trends you cannot ignore is the fact that people are going to states that have low income taxes or no income taxes that have the right to work, in other words, they cannot be forced to join unions. that is a real blow to organized labor, one of president obama's largest supporters. so if you look at why people are leaving, the states that they're in, why they're headed from the east towards the west and the south, it's because that's where the job opportunities are, that's where the state, the governors in those states, are giving more incentives to job creators to create jobs. martha: she has an important point. we do know that people vote with their feet, okay? when you've got people leaving, like my home state of new jersey, the government is having a tough time. >> it's nice to make the assumption that people are leaving because of union issues or because of the right to work. how do they know they're not
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going there because of the weather? we don't know the motivation, why people are going state to state. martha: you hear people all the time saying they're leaving for places like california and new jersey because they can't afford the taxes. >> the union regulations, that could be hey, i like the warm weather of texas, i like the -- >> martha: no. then why aren't people, alan, then why aren't people going to california? california's population is -- california is a lovely state, i moved away 3 1/2 years a. i probably won't go back, because they have high taxes, high regulations, they're driving companies and jobs out of the state. >> [inaudible comment] >> it's a nice effort to use that as a bay to promote low taxes. >> the democrats are not going to -- >> they know it's in everybody's head and why they're moving, we can't really answer that question. >> people are motivated by jobs, being able to afford college education. they're motivated by the bottom line, can i take care of my family.
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you want to go to -- >> it could be a number of factors, it could be any one of a number of factors. martha: i don't think it's as simple as weather. >> i don't know fits as simple as taxes. martha: taxes are important. >> we don't know. it's one factor. come on. martha: during march we're going to find out how the breakdown is culturally in the census, what the growth is in hispanics, how the cultural picture has changed in this country and one of the things i'm going to be watching closely, maybe it's an inaccurate assumption that the groups are -- >> are you going to leave new jersey? martha: you know what, i think there's a good argument for it! there's a good argument for it! but no, i'm not. alan, thank you very much. >> you're going to stay where you are. martha: for now. thank you guys, merry christmas. bill: is the government going too far with rules on the internet? lou dobbs weighs in on that. is all of this necessary? also, they were the ones who helped in the terrifying moments after 9/11, now congress is set to vote on a bill to help pay for their health costs, so you wonder,
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where is the controversy? peter king, out of new york, is on deck.
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>> the people behind me that traveled with me, they will get arrested with me. bill: oarsd of the 9/11 bill descending on washington to push lawmakers active before the holiday. there might be a vote on the $6 billion package. peter king out of new york, chairman of the homeland security committee, good morning to you. how are new. >> i'm fine, thank you. bill: senator coburn, your colleague on the republican side was on this program saying there's not been a legitimate hearing on this issue on the senate side to
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date. apparently there was a hearing in late july, but amendments to the bill were not allowed, open discussion about it did not carry on. that was his argument and the point he was making. does he have a point that this is being rushed through, or what would you say to your republican colleague about the position he has taken so far? >> i have a great regard for senator coburn, but i really believe he's wrong here. this is not a new bill. this has been introduced in the house six, seven years ago, we had numerous hearings in the house, we had long debates on the house floor, anthony weiner and i had a debate on your show on this bill, the fact is it's been debated, it was introduced into the senate, there was a senate hearing, and above all, tom coburn being a medical doctor, he has to realize this is not something that began yesterday, it's been going on for years. as a doctor he should have looked into this saying what could he have done to help these people. it's a bill, i think there should be more in the bill than there is and i see
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these people every day in my district, they're dying, with the rarest blood disorders, the rarest cancers and person after person, having these rare cancers, all of whom worked at ground zero, so there's no doubt this comes from ground zero, there's no doubt they need the medical coverage and yes, we have to come up with the costs, that they are covered. we don't need people behind on the battlefield because there's not enough money, we need to spend money on those who are dying, serving their nation. bill: i appreciate your comment on that. senator coburn says you have to make sure you have the money to pay for it and don't double-dip when it comes to benefits, and i don't ultimately know what the truth is here but it may get a vote in the senate and it appears it will pass. if that's the case it goes back to the house. on december 22nd, are there enough house members in washington to pass this? today? >> i certainly hope so. i was up in new york for a meeting, i'm flying back to washington right now, right after this interview.
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the troops in iraq and afghanistan, they go home for christmas, the men and women after september 11th, they stayed there month after month, they didn't ask for time off and the issue of double-diping is so unfair. there's no double-dipping. any money they get from a lawsuit is subtracted from the amount that's going to be provided for them for medical care. there is no double-dipping. these men and women are dying. why are we even suggesting they would double-dip when all they want to do is get medical care for themselves and take care of their families? these are horrible wounds they suffered. bill: do you anticipate this to go through, then, before christmas day? >> my understanding is -- i give senator gillebrand a tremendous amount of credit for driving this. it's my understand thrg are last minute negotiations going on right now which may somewhat adjust the cost, the tile extension and if that's done, i believe it's time to fast forward it out of the senate, over to the
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house and get it done today, which is what should happen. again, i hope the negotiations go forward. bill bell peter king, thank you for your time. we'll see whether or not this comes to the fore. martha, what's coming up next? martha: the relentless rain, in southern california, there are evacuations underway there, people two days before christmas, asked to be getting out of their homes. we're live with the latest. bill: check out this scene inside of a north carolina news station during news time where a woman pulls out a gun. we'll see that in moments. >> after she opened the interior door, she pulled a gun and put it to her head. she did not put it to the security guard but put it to her head, shed she had financial issues, was in an accident and needed someone to talk to. hey, guys, i know i've been bad at this in the past,
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do you know ours? heavens to betsy. dwayne the bathtub. magic wanda. ah! what's mine? uh, you're a dan fool. oh. it's just a device, dan. you c take it personally. yeah, i suppose. [ male announcer ] we uerstand. you need a partner whhelps you save. fedex ground. martha: fox news weather alert, a new wave of torrential rain moving in over the waterlogged west, a rough situation. have you seen the video? look at that, right over stlej, the home was not inhabited in arizona, swept off the foundation and carried off by a raining river and muddy, debris-filled floodwater and similar scenes in southern california, nevada, utah, arizona and the snow it all turns into when you head up to
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the mountain regions. >> i cannot overemphasize the magnitude of the storm that is bearing down upon us now. it will provide more water than we have seen in most certainly any of the storms and more rain we have seen the last ten years. martha: that is how we start a brand new hour of "america's newsroom," i'm martha maccallum. bill: bill hemmer, good morning, a lot of people are affected by the state of emergency now, in four different states and the worst could be yet to come. martha: snow melt and a series of super-soakers, we are talking catastrophic fallout, in a lot of our states and anita vogel is live with what is happening there. up above us, how is that going? >> reporter: well, it's not going great here, martha, the rain started 8:00 last night and has not stopped. creating some treacherous conditions, out there on the roadways for drivers, authorities have evacuated over 230 homes here in southern
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california, in the flint ridge area, considered the burn area where they had the wildfires late last year. and, residents were asked to leave their homes, by 9:00 last night, because of the possibility of debris flow. forecasters say the rain coming over the last 12 hours, could be the heaviest in ten years. >> when the deputies knock on your door, please, leave. i truly understand the significance of you leaving your homes. i truly understand the significance of the season, but, this is your lives we are attempting to protect. >> reporter: yeah, a lot of people are reluctant to leave their homes and all of their things but there is a real threat of mudslides there. we are also seeing a lot of heavy rain in laguna beach area, we are hearing the downtown is pretty much completely flooded out and we are waiting to get the pictures in and martha, hopefully will have them in the next hour. back to you. martha: it's not just there, bad weather is happening all over the country. what other areas are in trouble? >> there certainly is, as we know at the top of your show, it's not just california, this
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time, it is really all over the west and let me show you, again, those unbelievable pictures come out of littlefield, arizona. this is northern arizona, such heavy rain there, we see this house, just being swallowed up by the floodwaters, too much, too much to sustain there, too much rain and luckily, no one was living in those homes but one man was preparing to move in and i guess he won't move in any time soon and officials say a dozen other homes were in danger of being destroyed and there are flood warnings and emergency declarations that remain in effect in various places all over the west, utah, nevada and arizona, also, here in southern california and, martha, we are expecting more rain on the way, pretty much all day today, we are not expecting to dry out here, until sometime yoom. back to you. martha: hearts go out to everybody out there, a tough situation, anita, thank you, so many incredible images coming into us we don't have time to
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put them all on tv but you can see them on our westboub site, foxnews.com and you can see, the real scenes unfolding across the country, foxnews.com the front page, check it out. in the commercial break. bill: harry reid in a "fox news alert," telling reporters, john kerry on the floor of the senate now, the senate will ratify a new nuclear arms treaty. with russia, likely this afternoon. but, some republicans are battling the measure to the finish, and it comes as some of the republican colleagues plan to vote with democrats. carl cameron is on the hill. they need 2/3 from the senate. are the votes there. >> it looks as though they are and history will be made, the first treaty ever contemplated in a lame duck session of congress and it looks like it will be passed. the 2/3 required of the senators present means 67 votes, if all 100 are there and 66 if there
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are 99 and so on and there have been now, at least a dozen who have pledged their support either on the senate floor or in statements. republicans from all over the country, who have in the last couple of days, really, expressed their willingness to go forward, as there have been a whole series of back door discussions, that continue at this hour. and, the ratification should come early this afternoon, perhaps, as soon as noon. and is tied up with a lot of other talks about the 9/11 responders health compensation and we expect to have the president, who signed the don't ask, don't tell repeal into law, perhaps to talk about it later and it is a big accomplishment for him and getting the start treaty ratified was the singular, most important foreign policy thing on his agenda and for the white house and the democrats and republicans, it is a big happening, and, all of the
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amendments are expected to be defeated, unless they require a renegotiation of the treaty itself. bill: we heard strong words from lindsey graham, saying it will be the worst move the u.s. senate will ever make, powerful, powerful language. on the opposition. we'll watch the vote, carl and see the way it goes. thanks, on the hill, carl cameron, martha. martha: back to chicago. we have been covering this intense firefight, that is going on, they had several firefighters, that were missing in all of this. after a mayday call was sent out. a blaze in an abandoned building trapped four firefighters and, with the -- and they were pulled out and taken to local hospitals and we are waiting for word on their condition at this hour. and they are going back to search for more, though, and want to be sure no one else is missing, because, there was, you know, a bit of confusion, in the call-in from different fire stations for the fire, and it turned into a very difficult situation and they wanted to do a roll call and make sure everybody is accounted for. bill: the economy, every state
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in the country is reeling from the recession, 46 states facing budget shortfalls, this year, topping the list is california. and it is a whopper in california. staring down a $21 billion budget gap, and now a push to get their fiscal house in order is meeting stiff resistance from unions. william lajeunesse is on the story, live in l.a. good morning. >> reporter: you know, lawmakers made these contracts with unions that were entirely unsustainable. how about a lifetime of free health care, after just five years of work, or, retiring at 60 with 90% of your salary, now as lawmakers try to unwind those deals unions are saying, no. >> it feels like a penalty when you have given your life and career to the university... >> reporter: across california public employees fight to protect their generous union pensions. >> the pension benefits for uc workers for the last 20 years have been 100% funded by taxpayers. the employees have not paid
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anything toward their pensions. >> reporter: at the university of california, employees can retire at age 60, with full benefits, when the university tried to increase that to age 65, unions said, no deal. >> it is easy to say, i don't have this, and they shouldn't have this but people don't realize people made deals, and people are going to make deals where they are going to get less pay and better benefits and it keeps people at a public institution. >> reporter: another problem, pensions spiking which allows employees to boost their annual retirement from, say, 80 grand to $120,000, by pumping their final year's salary and lawmakers tried to reform the system but the unions said, no. >> they work real hard for one year, cash out their vacation, cash out their holidays, and take extra duties and that all goes into the final pay for pension and that is how you get 20 to 30% of your salary. >> reporter: in san francisco, taxpayers pay 80% of retirees' health care, a ballot proposition would have capped the exposure to 50%, and unions
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said, no. in l.a., teachers are fired based on seniority. that last hired, first fired policy, decimates poor performing schools, where staffs are predominantly young and when the district tried to change the policy, again, unions said, no. martha: all right, we need to break out of that and get to the white house, john brennan, the counterterrorism advisor to the president, speaking of the possibility of holiday terror attacks, let's listen. >>... strengthened cooperation and information-sharing between the department of defense, and the fbi. clarified analytic responsibilities, and new analytic training courses within the counterterrorism community. improvements and refinements in the wash listitch listing proce information technology systems that service the counterterrorism community and the deployment of advanced imaging technology at airports and cargo screening and
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international aviation security cooperation. protecting the american people from terrorism is an ongoing and constantly evolving process. it is the goal of the counterterrorism community to stay several steps ahead of our terrorist adversaries. so that we can stop terrorists, dead in their tracks, before they are able to carry out either small-scale, or potentially, devastating attacks. that is what the president has directed, that is what the american people rightly expect and deserve. and that is what we are bound and determined to do. thank you. >> mr. brennan, i wonder if you have -- i know you can in the talk specifically about any intelligence, but is there anything out there, that you know about, at this point, that is kind of driving the stepped-up effort. >> as we have discussed previously, we are concerned about al qaeda's plans to carry out attacks, and, the department of state has issued a -- an advisory, about europe, and,
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about plans for al qaeda to try to carry out attacks there. we do not limit our focus to one geographic area. that is why we are constantly looking at whether or not there is something, that is directed at the homeland here. we always receive reporting, what we try to do is investigate it and to scrutinize it carefully, and, so we need to be on top of our game, and particularly, during the holiday season, but, throughout the year. >> it seems as though in the past there was a primary focus on a single catastrophic attack. and, it sounds like that has been shifting to a concern about multiple small attacks. is that an accurate description of what the landscape is right now. >> i think we are concerned and staying vigilant about both ends of the spectrum, as far as the large scale attack and smaller-scale once and the enhancements we have made over the past decade has made it more difficult for terrorists to conduct these large-scale attacks, and we have degraded their capabilities and their training capabilities and ability to plot and to move
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operatives, and so what we have seen, recently, is increased focus, i think, on the part of terrorist groups to try to carry out some of these smaller-scale attacks and we are staying focused on our ability to detect those type of attacks, and, stop them, whether or not they are by individuals, or part of a larger organizational effort. >> mr. brennan, should your statement alarm americans, or reassure them, that they will be safe. >> i think, what the -- the statement is intended to do is reassure americans their fellow americans who are working in the homeland security and law enforcement and intelligence communities are working around the clock to protect their fellow citizens. we will not rest, because we know that al qaeda and other organizations are still out there. we are going to do our best to disrupt these plots, and, their plans, before they ever make it to the home land. so, what we want to do is let the american people know we are on the job, we are staying vigilant and working with our partners, not just our international partners with our
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state and local partners as well, and we will continue to do so, throughout the holiday season and beyond. >> just to follow-up on the point, is there a particular concern during the holidays, given the enormity of the problem. >> as you point out, there is a fair amount of volume going through the different transportation sectors, whether it be aviation or rail and other areas. and, so what we want to do is make sure we are able to provide the security to the traveling public and also want to be sure we run to ground every type of report out there about a threat to the american people. so, i think it is -- as janet napolitano said the other day, as far as something specific and credible, we don't see that. there is a constant stream of reporting throughout the course of the year, about al qaeda's plans, so, sometimes we haveteg not wait for a tactical warning. we will be poised every day. >> from last year, the christmas
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day bomber there was intelligence gathered that wasn't shared with the people before the plot moved to execution. are you confident now that that situation will not happen again? i'm absolutely confident the detissd deficiencies, that were reviewed have been addressed, and some of the reasons why certain information was not shared and didn't make it to the system, we have taken steps to ensure that that type of problem does not happen again. so, one of the things president obama has insist we'd do on each of these incidents is to take a look back and to see where the system worked well, where it fell down, and, what changes we could make in information technology or in business processes, and, so i'm confident that those deficiencies we identified, as a result of previous reviews, are being addressed, and, that we are in a much better position today than last year at this time. >> on monday, there were 12 individuals in the u.k., who were arrested on a suspected
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terrorist plot. i wonder if you can tell us anything more we know about that, anything about their intentions, and, also, if the problem of intelligence-sharing has been involved, if you could explain why director of national intelligence -- the director of national intelligence did not know at 3:45 on monday about the arrests in an interview with diane sawyer that you and janet napolitano did, how that is possible, that hours later, he had not been told -- >> i'll be pleased to address that question. i mean -- today, as you know -- >> i -- >> let me address your first question, first and i'll defer to my british counterparts, to provide information about the status of their investigation. we are in constant contact with the british. we were since the beginning of this take-down of the individuals in britain, to work with them closely to find out whether or not there is any nexus here to the homeland, and find out what we can about their motivations, and, intentions, and where their operational planning was going and that is ongoing. and the second issue, jim
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clapper is, i think, the consummate vni. he was working on developments in the korean peninsula, and, military developments and was working and trying to provide support as far as the start treaty deliberations were concerned and should he have been briefed by his staff on those ash rests and i know there was breathless attention by the media about the arrests and it was constantly on the news networks and i'm glad that he is not sitting in front of the tv, 24 hours a day and monitoring the media and, he's focusing on those intelligence issues the president expects him to focus on and make sure we don't have conflict in different parts of the world he continues to focus on those, and, the -- his brief from yesterday afternoon, something they acknowledged he should have been briefed on and they've taken steps to correct that and if it happens again i'm
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sure he will be au currant, as far as that is concerned. >> are you saying the threat was not serious enough to have -- >> no, i'm suggesting there was the sharing of the information from the british and the u.s. officials and we were in touch with the british throughout the day and continue to be so and there was no action that the dni had to take. there was nothing required of him to do, and, so, he was focused on those matters that required his direct and personal attention, and he was giving full attention to those matters and the president was appreciative that he was focused on that. there is going to be a continued interaction with the british and there will be things the dni will need to be personally involved in but, as of that time there was nothing the dni needed to do, that would have required him to set aside other pressing intelligence matters to be briefed on things that were being put out in the press. >> thank you, john. >> thank you.
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>>... currently there is no credible threat -- >> we'll send around the transcript, and will answer dan and the earlier questions, you guys all should have the paper which ale also come electronically, going through as you heard john say, the corrective actions, and the result of the president's asking for after-action reports. on incidents and disruptses that ha -- disruptions that have taken place over the course of more than a year. >>... see and feel more security during their holiday travel and, you are giving us this in part
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to give us a heads up about that? >> no, i -- no, you overblew that and we did it at thanksgiving. i think that is sort of taken care of. no. no. i think we wanted to give a sense -- i think importantly, of what has been done, as a result of what john mentioned, last year. as a failure in our security and intelligence apparatus. relating to the attempted bombings on christmas day. i think it is important for the american people to understand that as john said, we take the threat enormously seriously. and there is a huge part of our government that is focused on those threats, and on their security. and, we wanted those to be aware of the steps that have been
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taken in the intervening weeks and months to address them. i do not anticipate that the people will see or feel an increase in -- inconvenience in their travel plans, but, suffice to say, we are taking all of the necessary steps and measures across not just air travel, but, other modes of transportation. >> so are the recently initiated searches of bags here in the d.c. metro part of this program? and will we expect to see that in other -- >> i don't want to talk about specifics. obviously, john and others look at intelligence and reporting across as i've said many
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different modes of transportation. and, many different -- aware of and acting on information across a broad spectrum. >> to my knowledge, this is the first time since right after 9/11 there were searches of bags in public transit systems and it is happening at this holiday, right at this time. >> we are going to take whatever steps and actions are necessary to ensure a heightened sense of protection. yes, sir? al. >> maybe my recollection is wrong but isn't it true, aside from the under wear bombing attempt last christmas day, we in washington and officials in washington and the media, get breathless each holiday time... >> i don't know fit is specifically addressing holidays observed on the calendar -- >> i mean, the attacks have been
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random, it seems -- >> look, i think that john would probably tell you there's, quite frankly, a little bit of both. look, i -- obviously, you have around the holiday season, whether it is thanksgiving or whether it is around christmas, you have a huge increase in just the volume of those that are moving around. you have, as you mentioned, at other times, you know, sometimes square, or the aqap plot, involving cargo planes, which is not, as you said, not a fix -- affixed necessarily to a holiday, so, that is why i think one of the points john wanted to make was, regardless of the day on the calendar, there is a vigilance that must be
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maintained around the clock in order to ensure that we are doing all that we possibly can, in taking the steps that are necessary to rightly protect the american people. and, to inform them of threats that might be had outside of the home land. so, again, this was a -- largely an informational briefing on john's part to give you a sense of what we are doing. >> a question about the signing... of don't ask, don't tell, i was struck by the president saying at the top that he was overwhelmed and obviously there was a lot of emotion to that ceremony, can you offer context, having been with him for many years, is that one of the more emotional... martha: one thing is very clear and that is that the white house is making a very big effort to get their people out there, and to talk about what they have been doing to try to keep us safe. as we head into this busiest
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part of the travel season and a lot of concerns about terror, especially, given what we have seen happen in sweden, and the concerns and the arrests in london and let's bring in kip hawley, to talk about this, kip, good to have you here. what is your response to what you heard from john brennan today. >> i thought there were two interesting things there. whenever i hear a specific, credible, imminent, those words applied to a threat, it says to me there is really something there, and, somebody is going out of their way to downplay it a little bit. and i think what you can see is, maybe, if they have intelligence, about 30 western european people moving to a terror camp, separate intelligence about a bomb maker making a particular kind of bomb, third intelligence, saying that people were trained but have now left, there is nothing in that that you can say specific, imminent and credible. parts are specific and parts of it are credible but it's an excuse to say, no, we cannot get
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out with it but if you are looking at the intel and 30 people were trained by the bomb maker and are no longer at the camp, it says, everybody, get to alert and that is the situation we're in, year round, frankly and holidays are primetime, of course. but the whole business of specific, credible, imminent, the only time that ever happens is like in london, where they go arrest the people. >> exactly. >> most of the time it's not buttoned up like that. martha: we're talking about that question of connecting the dots. there's a lot of dots out there, though. that is clearly what we are hearing and when you take this quote from eric holder in an interview, and, again, i would emphasize, all of these folks have been out there, talking, doing interviews, janet napolitano, john brennan, today and, over at abc, earlier in the week, are all out there talking which says the white house wants everybody in the country to know, they are working hard and doing everything they can and, potentially, something could happen. and, that is clear when eric
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holder says we have to be prepared, potentially for bad news. and, he says the threat is real. the threat is different, and, the threat is constants. you know, when you look at how they handled the christmas bomber, would-be bomber last year it seems there is an attempt to make sure that that doesn't happen again or at least the perception isn't there, that was there last time, if it does. >> well, they clearly learned, and, everybody switched on this holiday season and i think we got a big clue at thanksgiving, when tsa went to the very, very, very invasive pat-down process, that -- that they didn't wake up one morning and say let's go after the pat-down. martha: you are right about that. >> there is a concern that says, hey, there might be someone in the system now who is carrying something on the body and i will not take the chance they'll do it at thanksgiving. so that was -- looked to me like an emergency ramp-up to delay, at least, maybe disrupt
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something in the works and i don't think the tempo will reduce into the new year when the traffic itself reduces. martha: it is un-- it is unnerving, to be sure. thank you very much, kip hawley. what were you going to say. >> i was going to say, i don't think it is unnerving. martha: i'm glad to hear you say that. >> it is the way it is, year round and because of umar farouk abdulmutallab last year the media focuses on it, and, then people say, oh, yeah, there are real threats. but, there are probably 6, 8, a dozen of real, legitimate threat streams that are in front of these folks, every day of the year. and, just on a sporadic basis, in that business, that is why janet napolitano said, 354, but, 3 365, 24/7 is the name of the game, not just the seasonal
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peaks. martha: clearly, folks want to disrupt things, good to have you here today. bill: 27 minutes past the hour now. so, did uncle sam grab control of your next internet search? lou dobbs thinks so. lou is on deck, on that. and, the nra says he was a law abiding gun owner, framed as a criminal and justs got a free pass. new jersey governor chris christie commuting his sentence and we'll tell you why, moments ago. -- moments away. >> you better not pout ♪ ♪ i'm telling you why ♪ santa claus is coming to town...♪ come celebrate exciting cars that are stunning to look at, exhilarating to drive and worry free to own. celebrate this holiday season with the gift of platinum. jaguar platinum coverage: five years or 50,000 miles
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when taking lunesta, don't drive or operate machinery until you feel fully awake. walking, eating, driving, or engaging in other activities while asleep, without remembering it the next day, have been reported. abnormal behaviors may include aggressiveness, agitation, hallucinations or confusion. in depressed patients, worsening of depression, including risk of icide, may occur. alcohol may incrse these risks. alrgic reactions, such as tongue or throat swelling, occur rarely and may be fatal. side effects may include unpleasant taste, headache, dizziness and morning drowsiness. ask your doctor if lunesta is right for you. get lunesta for a $0 co-pay at lunesta.com. sleep well, on the wings of lunesta. martha: there is action on capitol hill and we're awaiting a big decision from the senate, doing a test vote on the bill that would provide money and health care to 9/11 responders, who worked at ground zero and
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became sick in the aftermath of their tremendous efforts. down there in those days, following that disaster, and they are asking lawmakers to look beyond what they consider to be political posturing. that is what they say, look at this. >> republicans and democrats, when i live in my neighborhood and leave new york i see american citizens. when i come to washington and i walk these hallways, i see republicans and democrats, and, i don't think a lot of the american people really get that. martha: we are following the developments on this bill, from capitol hill and we'll bring you those updates as soon as they come into the newsroom, jon cornyn speaking on the senate floor and for contest, the bill is called the bedroga 9/11 health bill, a first responder whose death was linked directly to his work at ground zero, who died of a respiratory disease and spent 470 hours digging through the wreckage and inhaling toxic gas es and fumes
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and died in 2006. bill: is the governments tightening its grasp on one of the world's last bastions of free enterprise, the sec passing a slew of internet regulations, will it affect the web site you use on a daily basis? lawmakers are asking the same question. >> today the obama administration which is already nationalized health care, the auto industry and insurance companies and banks and student loans, will move forward, with what could be the first step in controlling how americans use the internet, by establishing a federal regulation on its use. as americans become more aware of what is happening here i suspect many will be alarmed as i am, at the government's intrusion. they'll wonder as many already do, if this is a trojan horse for further meddling by the government. bill: mitch mcconnell on the floor of the senate and lou dobbs is on the floor, fox news, fox business network and syndicated radio host, how are
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you doing, buddy. >> great to be with you. bill: you don't like the idea. >> not a bit and i think most people who are pro free enterprise, capitalists, who are concerned about restoring prosperity to the country, see this as ner step by the administration, intrusion. bill: it is called net neutrality and i don't get it. i don't understand, if i'm on the computer and searching for something and surfing the web, how will it affect me. >> now, it won't and that is part of the problem. they have decided to support a president's campaign promise, from several years ago, now, and there is no problem to fix here. there is no aviews that the fcc chairman -- abuse, that the fcc chairman says he wants to fix. this is anticipatory and it is standing law, the appellate
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court ruled in favor of comcast, the country's largest cable company, saying, fcc, you have no purview or jurisdiction here, go away. and, the president and the chairman say, here we come. bill: it will go through congress and the president's desk. >> don't want to bother with hearings or anything -- >> and the federal communications commission and the 3-2 vote you talk about -- as if it doesn't stand up in court. >> at this point the only court ruling is the fcc has no standing here and this fcc chairman and i say, chairman, because the democratic members of the five-person commission, three democrats and two republicans, the two democrats who went along with the chairman did so reluctantly. bill: why would they do this? better question. why would they take up the issue. >> because there is an ideological basis for is, as there must always be. in these politically driven questions. and, that is, one of government domination and intrusion.
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you know, you heard senator mitch mcconnell talking about the nationalization of health care. the automobile industry. some of that, much of it is hyperbo hyperbole, and the administration has done in two years to restore regulation than asserted the course of the last three decades and this is an administration, bringing 20 ceos up to the white house and they are really talk about doing exactly what they please, irrespective of the constitution and the common law. and irrespective of their understanding as to what will make a capitalist system work. bill: we heard mitch mcconnell, talking about health care and student loans and the internet. and, the banks... and i type in lieu dobbs. -- in lou dobbs and contractors of the bill think the government can control what comes up in the name of lou dobbs. >> the greatest danger always is
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first and foremost of individual choice and freedom in a free enterprise, capitalist economy and free society. bill: we'll continue the debate and ultimately, as you say it might end up before a judge. >> well, those things do happen. bill: they do happen in america, merry christmas. >> merry christmas, bill. bill: to you, martha. martha: thank you, one state governor is giving a man a lot to be thankful for, this christmas, brian aiken is home after new jersey governor christie commuted his 7-year prison sentence. a case the nra called an example of weapons laws, turning, quote, law abiding gun owners into criminals, joining us now is "new york post," pulitzer prize winning columnist and fox news contributor michael goodwin. good to see you. this is an unusual case and it sounds like he was moving and had a lot of stuff in his car and bringing it from one location to another and they found these guns, locked, excuse
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me and unloaded in the back of his car, took him a long time to -- them a long time to find him and he never fired a gun or hurt anyone and got 7 years in prison. >> it is a strange case on many levels and first, thing, he purchased the guns in colorado. legally, after and fbi background check and moved to new jersey where he's from and where his parents live and, with his mother, he -- while he's there, his planned time with his son, he's divorced, is abruptly cancelled and he's quiets in great despair over this, and tells his mother, there is no reason to live, and, leaves the house. and she becomes concerned, for his safety. calls the police, and they stop him, and in the searching of the car find these guns, which as you say are locked, unloaded and find the ammunition with him, too. and they arrest him and he's charged with a number of gun crimes including some on the ammunition and as you say, is sentenced to 7 years in jail and
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the governor commutes his sentence, after a little more than one year. and, it really, i believe, turns not just on the gun ownership and issue of the different laws, i think it also points to a bad judge and that is the heart of the matter here. martha: and, explain why that is, michael, because, the whole thing, the sentence, this decision by the jury may have come out very differently because the jury asked three times of the judge, for clarification that he would not give them. and, they might have made a different decision if he had. >> because the issue that the defense is raising is the question of the exemption from the laws, because, he is moving, and, according to the defendant, brian aitken's father, he inquired of the new jersey state police, how do i transport the guns which are legal in colorado, handguns, legal in colorado, how do i transport them in new jersey and, he's in the process of moving the guns, they are in the car, he says, and that is why he gets arrested and hit as though they are illegal guns and he's illegally
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obtained them and, it is almost like he's a gun runner, the way he's treated in this case and he tries to introduce the question of exemption and, the judge won't allow it. and, that is how the -- so the jury wants to hear the law, what are the laws on the question of exemption to have these guns, and, the judge never lets it in and we should note, too, after earlier, before he actually commutes the sentence, governor christie, who is a real no-nonsense guy, does not reappoint the judge, to another term. his term expired and christie does not reappoint him, and it is partially on this case and another strange case the judge handled and as much as the case is about gun laws and the contradictory nature, it is also about a bad judge, and his instructions to the jury and handling of the trial. so it sounds to me like the case has been solved by getting rid of the judge. martha: a very interesting case. and, the reason that we showed a picture of crist christie
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sandwiched between scrooge and santa before, i wanted to pointed out to viewers, a recent poll was put out and 54% of folks see him more scrooge-like than santa-like and the numbers break down, split on their approval of him, and they are not so sorry he's being a scrooge about some things and that is how it weighs out. >> and it is a wonderful santa role, because the defendants in the case, should be home for christmas. martha: great for him and his family. interesting story, thanks for bringing it to our attention, merry christmas to you. bill: what is next for washington and the new year, things have been a -- busy this year? wait until generally. pennsylvania's democratic governor, ed rendell, we'll ask him about what happens with the white house and congress and how it affects all of us, coming up here. martha: tense moments at a tv news station, a woman walks into a building and puts a gun to her
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head, how the station reacted that may have saved her life. >> as she opened the interior door, he took the gun and pointed it at her head, note security guard, but at her head and she said she had financial issues. ♪ if you have gout, high uric acid can lead to more attacks. ♪ to help reduce attacks, lower your uric acid. uloric lowers uric acid levels in adus with gout. it's not for the treatment of high uric acid without a history of gout. uloric reduces uric acid to help you reach a healthy level. [ female announcer ] don't take uloric if you are taking azathioprine, mercaptopurine, or theophylline. gout may flare when starting uloric. don't stop taking it. your doctor may give you other medicines to help prevent flares. a small number of heart attacks, strokes, and heart-related deaths were seen in studies. it's not certain uloric caused them. certain testto check liver function may be required.
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you can even enroll right over the phone. or visit us on the web at getsecuretoday.com. don't wait. call now. >> good morning, i'm jon scott, jenna lee and i will join you in 15 minutes and we'll continue coverage of the big day on capitol hill, this congress is a lamek,ving through some controversial legislation, like the repeal of don't ask, don't tell, just signed into law, a couple hours ago. how did it all go down? compromise? or caving in? and what more is on the horizon before the holidays, we have two u.s. senators, as our guests. plus, new developments, in the heart breaking case of a college student pushed over the edge to suicide. his parents now planning to sue his university. is there some death that is really the school's fault and
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how the grinch stole christmas, thieves take gifts donated to a toys for tots drive, we'll have it at the top of the hour, see you an "happening now". bill: thank you, instead of reporting the news, at a stuff station in north carolina, the station became the news when a woman walks into the lobby of the wsoc tv studios in charlotte and puts a gun to her head. it happened during the station's evening broadcast and the station went off the air for an hour while police evacuated the building and put it on lockdown. eventually, in the end, everything ended peacefully. >> swat personnel was called in, we were able to make contact with her, while in the lobby. and, encouraged her to surrender. and which she did and we were able to take her into custody. bill: police say the gun turned out to be unloaded, and, we're told the woman is distraught over her financial situation. martha: president obama has racked up a string of victories in the lame duck session and one
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of the latest was moments ago, and here's a video from that and he signed a law repealing the ban on gays serving openly in the military and one conservative is praising the president's political skills, charles krauthammer last night on o'reilly. >> he pass aid don't ask, don't tell, something that liberals have been trying to get for 17 years, and, tomorrow he's going to get a huge success victory on the start treaty and, this for a guy, six weeks ago, that absolutely was slaughtered in an election with historic losses in the house, you have to be smart to be able to pull that off. martha: joining us now is democratic governor ed rendell of pennsylvania, and he's a former chairman of the democratic national committee. governor, welcome, good to have you here this morning. >> good morning, martha. martha: a pretty good end of the year for president obama, would you say? >> sure, i think he did a lot of good things, and, good things for the country, most importantly. martha: when you look forward, as everybody is going to start
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doing, moments from now, you will talk about spending, and, the continuing resolution that goes only for a couple of months into the new year and then we'll have real talks about spending, about the debt ceiling, and, about the possible repeal of obamacare, and, you know, events may take over and overshadow some of what we have seen. >> sure. i think these are the victories the president has had in this session of congress, are temporary. they are temporary in the sense that events could overtake them. the good news, though, for the president, i think he was fighting the belief that he was not an effective leader. and i think the quick succession of victories on such important issues, like the tax cuts, i think probably does -- dispels the notion that he cannot lead but he has to pivot off of these victories, and, in my judgment, martha, i think he has to do three things, fairly soon in the new year. one, commit to real deficit reduction and work with republicans on real deficit
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reductions, both in the short-term and the long term plan. two, yet get an energy bill, it can't be cap-and-trade but we can have a bill that incentivizes energy renewables and natural gas and nuclear and that can be a big plus and you get republican support for that, and the education, the president and republicans are talking about accountability and reauthorization of no child left behind and if he can do that, he'll implant in the american people's minds he's a strong and effective leader. martha: it is interesting, what you said at the beginning of that, these victories will do something for him as a president. that it gives him more confidence, looking by many people's accounts, somewhat in effectual and not strong on the leadership count, how does he translate whatever he might be feeling, right now, into making those spending cuts happen, and transform his presidency, come january? >> i think what he has to do, is
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governor. forget about the politics, good government is the best politics of all and he has to governor and do what he thinks is bers for t-- best for the company and bring republicans and democrats in, on major initiatives like he has done, and deficit reduction and education and energy, there is a real opportunity for consensus and the republicans' side we have to forget about elections for a while. this country is facing serious challenges and for the next 10, 12 months we have to focus on what is good for the country, both sides. martha: governor, great to see you, happy holidays to you. bill: we'll be busy in january, with very interesting and important things that we'll be watching, here. janet napolitano got a lot of flak for saying the department of homeland security is working 364 days a year. now, a new response from homeland security, that goes directly to that comment, you'll hear about that in moments.
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bill: the department of homeland security reacting after the boss, janet napolitano caught a lot of flak during an interview with abc on monday, saying dhs is keeping americans safe around the clock, saying, quote: we are thousands of people, working 24/7. 364 days a year, to keep the american people safe. martha: oops. bill: she meant 365 and the dhs showing humor and, the spokesperson says, we cannot shorten the year by a day and obviously misspoke, end quote. martha: she clearly misspoke and there were a number of moments, of hesitation in that entire interview, but, yeah, that was one of them, 364 days a year, and, as long as nobody knows which one it is, we are okay, right?
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how about this, folks... how about this, now, last minutes of our show today, "fox news alert" on the economy and this is good news, we want to get it to you before we close the day, existing home sales, not a bad number, up 5.6% and the dow a little sluggish today, folks, as the number comes hot off the presses from the national association of realtors, the third rise, and that is what matters in the the economy, when you start to put together a couple of these rises and the line moves up, existing home sales, looking decent but the dow, here's the deal with the dow, up 8 points, nobody is there. bill: yeah. martha: nobody is trading, they are done. bill: 22,000 shares. martha: low volume. bill: in the meanwhile, hundreds of haitian orphans starting new lives thousands of miles from home, arriving at charles de gaulle airport, rescuing the kids from the country, crippled by the devastating earthquake of just about 11 months ago. and, now, a deadly epidemic,
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hitting port-au-prince greg palkot is reporting from europe, what is the latest with this. >> reporter: this is the season to tell it, it will be a great christmas for a bunch of haitian orphans and their adoptive families, the first of two charter planes from port-au-prince, arriving in paris, and, 114 kids, this time, with some of the parents, and another plane arriving, tomorrow. they have actually already been adopted, prior to that deadly earthquake, but, that changed everything, and this records were gone, and so, the french foreign minister, the new foreign minister, cut through a lot of red tape and as you noted, cholera concerns, and doctors checked everybody out and they were fine and, on the flight, and, again, they will be joining -- starting a new life in france, of course, these issues about records and everything else has been a worry for americans, too, and congress earlier this month, clearing the way for a bunch of haitian orphans, coming to america and on both sides, of the atlantic, at least a little bit of joy and a little bit of love at this
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time of year for people who have seen a lot of problems. bill: nice story, thank you, greg, greg palkot in london. martha: those little kids will need when they get to london, a coat! they'll need a lot of coats! it is cold there. i wish the families well, a great story, in the meantime, the yukon women's basketball team comes up big on the court! we'll tell you what they did! hear what happens, right after this. join the jaguar platinum celebration ! come celebrate exciting cars that are stunning to look at, exhilarating to drive and worry free to own. celebrate this holiday season with the gift of platinum. jaguar platinum coverage: five years or 50,000 miles of complimentary scheduled maintenance, and no cost replacement of wear and tear items visit your jaguar dealer during the platinum celebration foa $599 lease offer on the 2011 x
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everyone's eating tacos outside bill's office. [ chuckles ] you think that is some information i would have liked to know? i like tacos. you invited eric? i thought eric gave you the creeps. [ phone buzzes ] oh. [ chuckles ] yeah. hey. [ male announcer ] don't be left behind. get it first with at&t. the nation's fastest mobile broadband network. period. rethink possible. my professor at berkeley asked me if i wanted to change the world. i said "sure." "well, let's grow some algae." and that's what started it. exxonmobil and synthetic genomi have built a new facility to identify the most productive strains of algae. algae a amazing little critters. they secrete oil, which we could turn into biofuels. they also absorb co2. we're hoping to supplement the fuels that we use in our vehicles, and to do this at a large enough scale to someday help meet the wor's energy demands.

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